Empathy cafe

“Would you like to experience more inner peace within yourself?”
“Would you like to have more connections with people in your life?”
“Did you ever wonder how you can help the world to become a more wonderful place to live?”

We, Diana Hu and Mark Marijnissen, are hosting an Empathy Café because we believe that the practice of empathic listening and authentic speaking helps us make life more wonderful, and builds the capacity for more connection and compassion in the world. We are both experienced in Nonviolent Communication.

What is empathic listening?

Empathic listening is the practice of being fully present with another in their world. Instead of debating, advising, or giving your opinion, you listen actively, deeply, and compassionately to reflect back not only the story you hear, but also the underlying feelings and needs that make us human. Being listened to in this way helps us see ourselves with more kindness, resulting in more inner peace and connection, which in turn can lead to wise action to make our life more wonderful.

For a short introduction to empathy by Brené Brown, watch this video

This is a practice and you are invited to practice with us. You will:

  1. Share from your heart (up to the level you feel comfortable with)
  2. Practice empathic listening
  3. Get feedback from the speaker and others on your listening.

For those new, we offer some structure and guidance, based on Nonviolent Communication, to help you get started. For those experienced in any form of deep, present, active, empathic listening: you are welcome to host the space with us.

To be clear, this is not a workshop in which we will teach. We come as (experienced) practicioners ourselves. This is also not a therapy session. Although we will host the space in a way that encourages safety, and although you may experience benefits similar to therapy, you need to be able to take care for yourself. This means being able to regulate your own emotions, setting boundaries and asking for what you need. Of course, this doesn’t need to be perfect, but is something you can practice as well.

What will we do?

  1. Open the session.
  2. Check-in with a little guided meditation.
  3. Practice in duo’s or triads: one speaks, the other practices empathic listening.
  4. At the end of each round, there is feedback for the listener from others, so you learn empathic listening skills.
  5. Harvest how we are touched and what we have learned.
  6. Close the session.

What will you receive?

  1. Better listening skills.
  2. Space to express.
  3. More inner peace.
  4. More insight and understanding of yourself.
  5. More compassion and kindness for yourself and others.
  6. Be touched by our shared humanity.
  7. And more…

What participants say

  • “Mindblowing experience!”
  • “It felt great that someone was curious about me.”

Registration and dates

  • Wednesday 22 februari (20:00 - 22:00 CET)
  • Monday 6 march (20:00 - 22:00 CET)
  • Friday 24 march (20:00 - 22:00 CET)
  • Dutch speaking and listening is possible in the practice duo’s and triads!
  • This an online event using a Zoom videocall. You will receive the Zoom link 10 minutes before start.

More dates to be announced, depending on attendance.


Past events

  • Thursday januari 23th, see article.
  • Friday januari 27th, 20:00 - 22:00 CET, see article
  • Thursday februari 9th, 20:00 - 22:00 CET